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Federal Judge: Criminalization of Marijuana is “Absurd”

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director September 7, 2012

    Judge Richard Posner serves on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago, he also wants marijuana to be legalized.

    During a September 6th speech at Elmhurst College, the federal judge lambasted the war on cannabis. “I don’t think we should have a fraction of the drug laws that we have,” proclaimed Posner to loud applause, “I think it’s really absurd to be criminalizing possession or use or distribution of marijuana.”

    Posner went on to state that our drug laws are “a waste of a lot of high quality legal minds, and it’s also a waste of people’s lives who could be as least moderately productive with having to spend year after year in prison. That is a serious problem.”

    We here at NORML couldn’t agree more and applaud Judge Posner for having the courage to speak the truth from his high ranking position and for setting a bold example for his colleagues. You can view the entirety of his speech below:

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    (Comments pick up around the 53 minute mark)

    32 Responses to “Federal Judge: Criminalization of Marijuana is “Absurd””

    1. [...] NORML Blog, Marijuana Law Reform Did you like this? Share it:TweetBe Sociable, Share! Tweet [...]

    2. teresa donahue says:

      Thank youu Judge for voicing your enlightened opinion.

    3. Tammyt says:

      Judge Richard Posner is an excellent speaker as he makes all of the seemingly complicated problems wreaking havoc on our country actually much easier to understand. He makes a lot of sense!
      Too bad more politicians don’t think the same way he does.
      His explanation of why marijuana and other drugs should not be illegal is excellent!
      Thanks for giving your honest opinion on the subject Judge Posner! Being from your district I’m proud to have you serving in our legal system.

    4. steve-says says:

      this is a very smart man.we should have people like this running our country,and yes we should not put people in jail for hemp.it will help our country,it is a billion doller crop.it is all about $ it will help our medical condision,I am taking opiods for mind condision and it not cheap an highy addictive. and hemp is not and no one has ever died from hemp.

    5. St. Nick says:

      Wait a minute… He’s right! We should be focusing on violent/evil crime. Not imprisoning perfectly good people for just trying to feel good.

    6. Ben says:

      Fark yeah! About damn time!

      We need to push, however we can apply properly leveraged force, to bolster such people, such ideas, and get this farking mess fixed.

      As always, NORML is always on the cutting edge, in providing information, communication, and reaching out.

      Support NORML and support these people!

    7. Jim says:

      Sounds great but stop and think. why would a federal judge put his entire career (and his pension) the line for something that has been battled over for so long. The supreme court judges are going to rip him apart.

    8. [...] Federal Judge: Criminalization of Marijuana is “Absurd” | NORML Blog, Marijuana Law Refo… Quote: [...]

    9. Annie says:

      Federal Judge: Richard Posner, thank you for helping our cause…We need more smart men like yourself……THANK YOU AGAIN…THANK YOU A MILLION TIMES….MAYBE LEGALIZATION CAN HAPPEN WITH IN MY LIFE TIME !! =-)))

    10. Cheq says:

      To bad this judge cant slap the stupid out of all our so called political “leaders”. I love how Obama promised the world last election and delivered less than squat and offers 4 more years of “you aint seen nothin yet” and now we are poised to get a GOP tagteam reaming not seen since the Bush dynasty. Freedom … such a simple word but so hard to define without “moral bias”.

      Quote from someone important;
      We live in a free society, as long as you believe what we believe, think the way we think and act like we want you to act. Now line up peons we have work to do!

    11. Finally a man in a higher power can relate common sense! He is the man for voicing his opinions hopefully others will step up like he has!

    12. FED UP says:

      oh my

    13. TheOracle says:

      It would be nice if he could convince more federal judges to take this position, and they would pressure the Congress as a unified group to change the U.S. drug laws.

      Unfortunately, I don’t think most of the Republicans and Religious Right, by and large, would listen to them. Judge Posner is also an economist, and appears to be picking up the cause for at least marijuana legalization where Milton Friedman left off. My fear is that behind closed doors when there are no minorities around that both their positions will, once again, be dismissed as eccentric Jewish thinking. I think it’s perfectly logical thinking, but all to often the Religious Right dismissed the correct answer because of where it comes from or because of WHO is comes from. The RR have their own dogma, and they pretty much stick to it.

      Thank you very much to George Soros, Larry Flynt, and all the other big donors who are putting their money where their mouths are! They, like the judge, are very brave for speaking out on what they think is right, and for being able to handle all the hatred directed at them.

    14. Paul Kuhn says:

      He is the most-cited judge in America and a conservative icon. Law school classes are taught on his books (he has published 40) and legal opinions. This is an important event in the history of marijuana law reform. Hooray!

    15. Travesty says:

      I wish more older folks would stand up for the truth. Or at least realize what is really going on around them. Most of us being so indoctrinated it’s hard to come to grips with being lied to and poisoned your entire life for $$$$$. Show this to everyone you know.

    16. Miles says:

      Cheers for a very smart and moral man!

      I salute you Judge Posner!

      God knows I wish the rest of this countries leaders had even half your compassion and intelligence…

    17. nicole stallard says:

      Here is something else about Judge Posner, he was appointed by Ronald Reagan.

      Guess the Judge has decided that it is time we “just say no” to the drug war.

    18. Bill Chesher says:

      I live in KY, depend on VA for medical, was cut off of pain meds. For positive cannibinoid urine test. Draconian. Used cannibis for Chron’s disease.

    19. wbs 101 says:

      Change is coming the ball is rolling and can’t be stopped I can’t wait to see what the 2012 election has in store for us.

    20. Laurin D. says:

      A mother and daughter were killed on their way home from there. A driver soaring high on pot crossed the center line while having double vision. If YOU- YES YOU- Lost your daughter or son to an accident because the other driver was to high to drive, YES, tomorrow you are telling your grandkids their mom or dad is DEAD because pot was now legalized, your vote would still be?

    21. Alex Battie says:

      Makes perfect sense to me ! Lol

    22. Bud says:

      @ Laurin D.

      Try educating yourself instead of swallowing whatever is shoved down your throat.
      Where are all the fatal accidents in MMJ states?
      Oh, yeah, traffic fatalities down by 9% in those states.

      If you want to display ignorance, do it elsewhere.

      You were saying?

    23. [...] [video] Posted by Heartmind _Featured_, Marijuana Tuesday, September 11th, 2012 Erik Altieri NORML Communications [...]

    24. Travesty says:

      To Laurin. Those things already go on every day. People that think they are fine to drive on medications or drugs of any sort is a “free will” issue. Those things will always go on. I don’t care how many laws you have on the books. The only thing you can control in this world is yourself. I could drive out of the McDonalds today eating my food and run into someone. Should we make food illegal? Or maybe just eating in general should be since most people look like they are purposefully eating theselves to death.

    25. Galileo Galilei says:

      @Laurin

      You don’t get double vision on weed. That’s a lie.

      Laurin, there are bars with parking lots. YES, BARS with PARKING LOTS. Drunks really do cross the center line. This is not hypothetical. You’re concern is misplaced.

    26. [...] The purpose of these letters to try and persuade Atty. Gen.  to stand up and fight the possible legalization of recreational marijuana use, in the three states which currently have it on the ballot for 2012. The three states which have [...]

    27. Joe says:

      Good job Fed Judge! If a Fed judge can say it, maybe a President will say it.

    28. hrt_a says:

      Nice. It is good to see that there are people with a brain and common sense still in public offices… Why is there not politicians this smart in D.C.? Oh thats right, POT has not lined enough politician pockets and coffers yet and the fact the CIA and DEA are taking all the glory and profit from their senseless and wasteful “war on drugs”…

    29. hrt_a says:

      Laurin D., do you support keeping alcohol legal? Why is it ok to have prohibition against POT but it’s ok to sell alcohol everywhere?
      There are certainly more deaths related to alcohol and driving than pot and driving.
      Do you make statements like this when you hear about drunk drivers or do you blow em off because “alcohol is legal”…
      The double standards of people in this country amazes me! Do as we say, not as we do! thats the American way!
      Dupont and the pharmaceutical companies love your ignorence and intolerance Laurin D…

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